Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – June 22, 2018

 

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Guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions part of Colorado law

“Guaranteed health insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions is enshrined in Colorado law,” said Interim Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway. “Regardless of how the Justice Department or the Trump administration attempt to change the Affordable Care Act, the Division of Insurance will continue to enforce Colorado law and maintain this important protection for our citizens.”

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

CBAs clear; no lifetime health care benefits for Honeywell retirees

Reversing a district court’s conclusion that Honeywell retirees were entitled to lifetime health care benefits, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals noted that general principles of contract interpretation applied and, because the language of the collective bargaining agreements was clear, there was no need to look to extrinsic evidence as the lower court had. While it might seem unusual, the CBAs specifically provided for lifetime health care benefits to surviving spouses and dependents, but did not provide such lifetime benefits to retirees themselves.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Health care cost increases remain steady in 2019, but this is not necessarily good news

Employers and insurers expect health care costs to increase 6 percent, consistent with the 5.5 percent to 5.7 percent increases seen over the past five years, according to PwC’s Health Research Institute. However, the report, Medical cost trend: Behind the numbers 2019, noted that employers continue to struggle to contain their employee coverage costs. And, in many cases at least part of those costs are passed onto employees.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Subcommittee hearing spotlights CDHPs

At a recent House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health hearing, individuals from the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation (ECFC), Mercer, and the American Benefits Council spoke about the importance of consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) and health savings accounts (HSAs). The hearing, Lowering Costs and Expanding Access to Health Care through Consumer-Directed Health Plans, was held to provide the Subcommittee on Health with ideas to improve CDHPs and HSAs for employers.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

DOJ will not defend constitutionality of ACA’s individual mandate

In a letter to Congressional leaders, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has indicated that the Department of Justice will not defend the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate in a lawsuit brought by a coalition of 20 states and two individuals who seek a declaratory judgment that the ACA is unconstitutional. The plaintiffs contend that the amended ACA is no longer protected from constitutional attack since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-97) eliminated the tax for failure to comply with the individual mandate.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Successor not liable for misrepresentations by past fiduciaries regarding retiree health care

The current contractor providing security services at a nuclear complex was shielded from liability for alleged misrepresentations committed by past fiduciaries with regard to health care benefits for retirees, ruled a federal district court in Tennessee. Retired security guards had brought suit seeking to restore health care benefits to prior levels, alleging that they were promised stable premiums and retirement benefit levels similar to what they received as active employees. However, because the contractor did not assume control of the health care plans until after these representations had been made, the court granted its motion for summary judgment on the misrepresentation claim.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »